Timberwolves reportedly eyeing Block E for new practice facility

block e before after.jpg
Guy Still on twitpic
Block E then and now. In its next iteration, it could move from Gameworks to game work.
A downtrodden black hole of a real estate development and a struggling, seemingly snakebitten professional sports franchise -- some might say it's a perfect match.

THE BACKSTORY: Block E blight: There's only one business left inside

According to a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal report, the Timberwolves are eyeing Block E for a new practice facility and their corporate offices, both of which are currently housed inside the Target Center structure.

The Wolves are still trying to hash out a $100 million Target Center renovation deal with the city, but team officials are expected to turn their attention to upgrading their antiquated practice and corporate facilities afterward. And the Business Journal, citing unnamed real estate sources, said the team is "looking seriously" at a Block E deal that could involve turning the former third-floor movie theater space into basketball courts.

It's not exactly what the city had in mind when it shelled out some of the $170 million it took to develop Block E into the structure that used to house Applebees, the Hard Rock Cafe, Borders, Hooters, Gameworks, and other now-closed businesses, but it's probably better than nothing, right?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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k2yeb topcommenter

Dumb idea. Like Branden said use Target Center. Why do we subsidize pro sports so much. Do we really get huge increases in tax revenue and jobs like they always use as justification? I recommend turning it into a better version of Midtown Global Market to allow for the growth of the condo market, while providing healthier and more diverse options to downtown workers. 

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

how often is target center not available for practice for the wolves?? build a casino instead.

DavidFoureyes topcommenter

"it could move from Gameworks to game work."


Kathy Drews
Kathy Drews

Two weeks ago Mpls unveiled a new mega park that they're building over by the Star Tribune site. A new hotspot for the transients to sleep and hang out.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

I know the city paid a lot of money to build Block E but what use is it when the rent is so high nobody can stay in business? Why not just lower the rents and get some tenants back in there?

Brent Hogberg
Brent Hogberg

I miss Moby Dick's & the culture that came with it. sad.

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

They should have moved the theater to the gameworks spot. It was nice having a movie theater dt instead of having to drive to one

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

I know they'd never consider it, but Block E would be a splendid spot for a downtown park and sculpture garden. Or an observation tower with restaurants. Or an open-air dining area, with hundreds of tables and a dozens of food carts and takeaway food shops. Pretty much anything but what it is now, or the waste of space the Timberwolves will bring to it, either.


@Dan Mason The current owners bought the building for pennies on the dollar in 2010 and wanted to put a casino in the space. Kicking out almost all of the tenants was part of that plan. It's not that the rent is to high, it's that the current owners don't want businesses there.

mingtran topcommenter

The whole site would need to be torn down, would drain not create tax revenue, and would play host to whores, thieves and various other forms of low-lives.

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